I read this article by Lucy Kellaway on the BBC news site – she invented the term “worliday” for a working holiday and is very enthusiastic about the idea, advocating it as the way forward. If you’ve read any of my previous articles about my experiences working throughout the summer last year on a six week road trip in france, you may have picked up that there are both good and bad points – I’ve written about the importance of “work/ loaf balance” here.
This summer we didn’t make it to france, but a couple of weeks ago I was working from borrowed dining room tables, cafe’s and the platform of a skateboard ramp in Ireland, and i’m writing this blog post from a field in Devon. So i’m still trying to make the nomadic working thing work, but this year I think fatigue is starting to creep in – the Ireland holiday was very social, staying with friends and house-sitting, but missing so much of what was going on around me bought home to me just how much of the actual holiday bit of a working holiday, is compromised by being obliged to work.
When I arrived at my favourite devon “secret campsite” this morning, my phone messages revealed that I had somehow missed not one but two client meetings in Bristol – my feelings of spontaneity were soon replaced by guilt. Then my wife and son headed off to the beach, while I have ended up chain drinking tea in a camping chair, sending grovelling emails and grumpily punching keys on my laptop as I deal with technical issues that have cropped up on various websites.
One of the points that Lucy makes is that by working on holiday, you can justify going on holiday more often – I agree with this to an extent, but currently it feels more like I need longer and more holidays, so that I can scrape together enough actual holiday time. I think the long holiday worked last year because the time I spent not working equated to about the length of a normal holiday.
I start to relax a bit more as I get a bit of work done, but I know that when it’s time to down tools I will find it hard to switch off again, and tomorrow if anything delays me getting started with my work, anxiety will set in again – what I really need right now is a holiday!
(The pop-up tent in the photo above is a Quechua Base Seconds)